I love to find these beautiful, vintage pillow covers. They tend to be about 100 years old and created in the early 1900’s during an era called, Society Silk. Many of these use silk floss and came in a kit with a pre-tinted linen, just as our kits come today. What makes these very special to me are the quirky sayings and silk threads that were used. I quilt these on a Handi Quilter Fusion, longarm.
This the the original cover. I removed the backing, which was a depression era, green linen.
I’m pretty sure the maker would be mortified if she knew she missed a spot. The magenta stitch is hers, the satin stitching would have gone over it to give some padding.
When placing designs on cloth, I use a blue, water soluble pen. I only make registration marks and try to do the smallest bit of them. A great tip for removing the blue marks, mix 1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda to one cup of water. Put in a spray bottle and marks disappear, forever! At least I’ve had no reappearing marks since I’ve used this method!
I usually don’t have a big plan for these pieces until I begin them. I let them ‘talk’ to me while I stitch and they usually SCREAM at some point! 😉
I use my rulers for all straight lines. The longer one is great for ditch stitching and long runs and then the smaller, Palm ruler, is super for short lengths.
The maker on this piece did some luscious embroidery!
I use these rulers for guiding me around the embroidery.
Viola’! Another great finish! I adore these pieces and hope you’ve enjoyed the beauty and re-purpose also!
I often scroll through Pinterest in the evenings, admiring quilts, embroideries and crafts in general. I came across some ‘name’ pillows and decided that’s exactly what my granddaughter needed for her new bed. I don’t know about you, but when I see something I like or get a new idea, I MUST make it immediately! I love to make a pillow directly on my long arm, so this photo heavy post will cater to the longarmmer, however, you can sure do this on your regular sewing machine. The first thing I did was free hand draw the letters onto freezer paper. With the shiny side down, I ironed the letters onto the fabric.
Next, I added a layer of fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric, then I cut everything at the same time. This way, I can iron my letters to the background fabric and I’m ready for handstitching the edges.
I spent a few evenings, using a buttonhole stitch and pearl cotton to embroider the letters. I love the background fabric! A hand dyed piece I found somewhere on my travels.
The background piece is about 20″ x 30″. I basted around the perimeter of the piece so I have a nice frame and area to do the quilting. I used one layer of Hobbs 80/20 and Glide 40 wt. thread.
I use my notched rulers to outline around the applique before I set off on the free motion quilting. I had a blast doing a whimsical, free flowing design.
Yes! I quilt every tiny space, yikes!
You can see I added a stitch line at the halfway mark. This way I will be able to easily add the fringe and have a cut line to split the pillow.
Can you believe I found this perfectly matching fringe at my local Hobby Lobby! I couldn’t believe the colors were so perfect and who doesn’t love fun fringe!
I used the horizontal channel locks on my long arm to stitch down the fringe. Of course, this could all be done on your regular sewing machine, but I try to do everything I possibly can on the long arm so that when I take it off, it’s just assembly!
Now that the fringe is all stitched, I’m ready to take it off the frame and give it the old, ‘right sides together’!
You can see how easily it split apart.
Right sides together now and I’ll take it over to my sewing machine. I will tell you, it takes a bit of thought. I kept repeating to myself, ‘right sides together, inside out’, things like that.
As I worked on this pillow I thought, how much fun would Junie have if she had a treasure pocket! Juniper is a treasure LOVER and a pretty good treasure hunter. SOOO, I created an envelope with a secret pocket underneath. Hopefully you can follow my photos to see what happened!
I stitched on ready made patches for some fun!
The most special part is this secret pocket under the false envelope that ONLY Juniper will know about! 😉
There you have it! What a fun project that can be completed pretty quickly. I think any child would love this. I hope you’ll give it a try!
I’m so excited to share my two new rulers! You can watch the video to see how I use them. They can be ordered on the tab, Notch Rulers. I am SUPER excited with the control and accuracy I can achieve with them. I hope you’ll give them a try!
Just what you’ve asked for and so many have waited for! Finally, a video that shows you how I approach quilting vintage linens on the longarm. Thanks to Handi Quilter, who recently filmed a 45 minute segment on this process. I hope you enjoy the episode and don’t hesitate to ask questions. If you are interested in my rulers or lectures/workshops, find those tabs for more information. Thanks for visiting!
While teaching and traveling in Australia this last February, I was given quite a few lovely pieces of handwork and Aussie fabrics. I have them all hanging in my studio and a few weeks ago I was inspired to create something special with two of the pieces.
On my longarm I have a backing, then Hobbs 80/20 batting, then the super cute, Koala background fabric. At this point, I ran an edge to edge design over the background fabric, THEN, laid the two doilies on top of the fabric.
Let’s start at the beginning and I’ll take you through the process. Under each linen I added a single layer of Hobbs 80/20 batting to give an extra loft. It also hides the print that is under the doily. I cut the batting larger than the doily and trim it away after I have quilted the linen.
I stabilize the piece by “ditch” stitching around the inside edge of the crocheted trim. I leave that scant 1/8″ so that I can trim away the batting later. You’ll see what happens when I finish quilting. I quilt on a Handi Quilter Fusion and here I am using the “Glide” foot. It is almost a necessity when stitching lace and embroideries. You can see it glides right over all the thickness.
At this point I will stitch around ALL the embroidery. I never stitch over the handwork, but around everything! It gives the piece great definition and pops it right out of the linen. Deciding on the design usually comes as I am outlining all of the embroidery. You can see the spine I have created for the eventual feathers. I like to use a blue, water soluble pen for marking. (TIP: to remove blue marks completely and seemingly forever, mix 1 t baking soda to 1 cup of water, place in a spray bottle. This mix must be fresh each day it is used.)
I trimmed the batting to the inside edge of the trim crochet, using a curved pair tiny, sharp scissors. My favorites are a simple pair of cuticle scissors!
After the batting is trimmed, I lay down the crochet and stitch the outside edge to cover any of the batting that might have not been precisely trimmed. It always covers that raw edge of batting.
You can see here how much stitching I put into the embroidery.
The full piece was taken off the frame and split in half, therefore, creating both sides for the tote bag. I made both sides a bit different. I also TEA stained the pieces once I had the quilting done to make the fabric match the age of the linen. This really made the whole thing come together!
Next, I sewed the halves together and also made a lining WITH a pocket for the inside.
Handles were added, also tea stained.
And there you have it! A new tote bag made by repurposing an antique linen. It’s also a fabulous reminder of the great friends I made in Australia! (Special thanks to Lynne for the handwork and Caroline for the fabric!)
I hope this post helped to see the process for some of the bits of handwork we all have hiding in our drawers. Try it, you’ll become a lover of vintage repurposing!
Hop on over to the tab Quilting Rulers! I’ve got a new, sweet little ruler! It’s only 5″ x 1 1/2″!! Tiny and mighty! Use either on a longarm or domestic machine. I think domestic machine quilters will love it. Super for tight spaces on a longarm and small throat areas on a domestic.
You can also get the full, 4 ruler set, for $55 and FREE shipping in the US. International customers, please choose the second option on the drop down menu, $65. Quilting Rulers
I’ve created these rulers for small hands, with curved ends to help movement over seams. No corners to slow you down! I have rave reviews for these and ladies with arthritis tell me they can ruler work all day without pain. Give them a try. I know you’ll love them like I do! Have a wonderful week everyone 🙂
This is a recent finish by my customer, Leanne. I love the colors and the mix of fabrics! Jewel tones in cotton, linen. wool and silk. The design is by Lynn Schmitt Gallagher, A Different Box of Crayons. Definitely one of those quilts that needed to be touched in every special piece. Details…..2 layers of batting, 80/20 on the bottom and 100% wool on top, Glide thread in multiple colors to match each fabric. Enjoy the pictures!
I’m often asked if I have videos to show how I’m doing a technique. I keep saying I’ll get a GoPro, but for now, my phone is quick and easy. Thanks to Leanne, whose quilt I am using to share some ruler work. Here are a couple of new clips on using my rulers.
YES, I’ve added a new ruler to my collection this week! I never know I need a new one, until I try to do a design and start thinking about how it could be easier. This time, I wanted to create a curve that was equally convex AND concave, so I don’t have to contort my body to do a design like the orange peel. You can watch my quick YouTube video to see how I use this ruler on my domestic machine. I’ll get one up shortly for a demonstration on the longarm.
Here is the order page for the Kelly Bean and my other rulers. I will try to get some tutorials made on how I use these very soon! Have a great quilting day!
Another quilted hankie! Can you tell I love this combination of a satin backing with a hankie on top? I made this one for a class sample for Melissa, aka, MK Quilts. It all starts with the satin backing as the “frame”, with the hankie quilted right on top. I used a double batting of 80/20 Hobbs on the bottom and 100% wool on top.
If I am using a hankie with LOTS of white space, I use Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Stencils. Her square and circle grids make it a breeze to design almost anything. They come with an enormous e-book of possible designs that will help you through the process. I think I’ll be ordering her ultimate background stencils soon, especially helpful if you are a domestic machine quilter.
So, pair the Ultimate Stencils with my favorite rulers, and you’ve got a great combination!
I’ve found the rounded end of the rulers make for a great scallop! I always look to repeat a shape or design, so I wanted to repeat the scalloped edge of the hankie on the background. The slim ruler is 1 1/2″ wide, so it made the smaller scallop. Then, I used my Palm ruler for the larger scallop echo. The width on the Palm ruler is 2 1/2″, so it was a perfect echo!
As if there weren’t enough scallops, I also made them inside the scallop! I was going for an open and lacy look.
I like to sign my name when I can work it into a piece.
And viola! I just love these pieces. Fun and fasts to design and stitch. I usually design as it’s on the frame. Each section tells me what to do with the next. They always speak to me!
I spent an evening with beads and the TV. I like a bit of sparkle where it can be added.
This little beauty flew off to Florida the next day, ready to share for show and tell at a few guilds. I will be speaking and teaching in the Tampa, Florida, area in November. My sit down, domestic machine workshops will be following this piece and I’ll guide you in the process. It can be accomplished on the longarm or on your domestic machine. Hope to meet you somewhere in my travels!